All You Need Is Love (book review)

All You Need Is Love

This captivating book describes a Canadian woman’s discovery of a past life in 17th century England.

Portrait of a Young Woman Painter (detail), Jean-Marc Nattier, 1740s

In her past life, the author—Jewelle St. James—was apparently a young woman from Sussex named Katherine James (b. 1666, d. 1683), and she was passionately in love with a young man named John Baron. Their relationship soon came to a tragic end when John died of a serious illness. Katherine, mad with grief, and probably pregnant, died a short while later. Her death may have been due to poisoning by the laudanum being fed to her as a “tranquilliser” by a strict aunt.

Jewelle, an ordinary mum and health care worker from British Columbia, found the details of this past life coming to her—almost forcing themselves onto her—through a variety of means. There were encounters with psychics, her own remembrances and past life regression, her dogged research in search of verifiable facts, and her visits to the actual scenes of the events.

Petworth Revisited

Those events centre around an ancient market town in West Sussex, UK, called Petworth. And it is here that Jewelle finds much to verify her past life information. Here is the hospital where Katherine had tended to the sick and dying. Here is the picnic spot in which Katherine and John had been happiest. Here is the very room in which Katherine had died. Here is the record of Katherine’s burial.

Despite all the mixed emotions it evokes, modern-day Jewelle falls in love with Petworth almost as much as Katherine had been in love with John Baron, and comes to think of it as her second (or should that be first?) home. In a sense, this is a love story between a Canadian woman and an English town.

Petworth today
Petworth today

There is more to it than that, however. For Jewelle’s entire journey in search of a past life was triggered in December 1980 by, of all things, news of the murder of John Lennon.

The John Lennon Connection

John LennonJewelle had never been a particularly big fan of John Lennon or the Beatles, yet she was inordinately upset at his sudden passing. It completely affected her life. She was as baffled by this as were her family and friends, and began to seek help from her mother and sister, both of whom appear to have psychic abilities. This is how she first heard that John Lennon had been, in a previous life, her lover.

Over the following years Jewelle managed to piece together the story: John Lennon had been John Baron, Katherine’s lover, in 17th century England.

It is clear that Jewelle was never looking to write a sensational “I was a celebrity’s lover” kind of book. What drove her to uncover this past life was the need to resolve her own debilitating emotional state. Indeed, for much of the book the John Lennon connection is hardly mentioned. The real focus of the account is the tragic nature of the relationship between Katherine and John Baron, for it is this sense of tragic love and loss that appears to have replayed itself in Jewelle’s present life with the death of her first lover. Towards the end of the book Jewelle begins to get direct messages from John Lennon himself via several psychics, and these messages focus on Katherine/Jewelle’s need to heal and move on.

Jewelle is also informed in passing that in another incarnation the soul who was John Baron and then John Lennon was also the brother of the Brontë sisters, Branwell Brontë (1817–1848). See my separate post about the similarities between John Lennon and Branwell Brontë.

All You Need Is Love

Jewelle’s story was originally told in Just Imagine, published in 1995. A screenplay based on the book was written in 1997 by Dee Silverstein. All You Need Is Love is an update and continuation of the story, first published in 2003; a second edition was published this year (2009).

For those with an interest in reincarnation, All You Need Is Love is a fascinating and compelling tale of search and discovery. More importantly, the book highlights the meaningfulness of our past life memories—how the unresolved emotional states of one life will recreate similar circumstances in this life to reawaken the same emotions as an opportunity for us to deal with them more effectively.

It is also testament to the courage it must have taken Jewelle to tell her own tale, crazy as it sounded to most people.

Further Information

See also my post John Lennon – the Reincarnation of Branwell Brontë?

Jewelle’s website is at:

For a nice aerial view of Petworth, see

To get a sense of Petworth today, and to see some lovely shots of the town and its environs, take a look at the Visit Petworth blog (

Click here for a Google map of Petworth:

Petworth Map

4 thoughts on “All You Need Is Love (book review)

  1. Hi Barry,
    What a great review of Jewelle’s book! Mind you, I’ve written a testimonial for her so I’m somewhat prejudiced LOL. I love your site and your blog and, I am sharing it with a good friend who is writing a book about Michael Jackson and will, I suspect, also want to communicate with you.
    Thank you for ALL you do for the light.

  2. Yes Barry, great review of “All You Need Is Love.” If people can see that reincarnation is really about going on a emotional journey toward healing, then maybe it would be more readily accepted by the mainstream. Jewelle’s other book “Jude” is very powerful as well as she explores her past life during the Holocaust, and once again, finds the strength to heal from the sadness of the past.

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